Family secrets, a car accident, and a strange hotel in a freezing rain storm in the mountains.
What will mother, father, and daughter find in this dark, strange. and out of place hotel in the middle of nowhere?
Glazed by Eldritch Thrum
- ePub Digital: aprox. 7,800 words
- Publisher: Alban Lake Publishing September 2019
- Language: English
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With the winds and ice at their backs, guided scarcely by the small lights from their phones, they climbed through the dark, over ribs of rock and wet loam, until they reached the railing that the small car had mangled. The storm had reduced the car’s fire to a smolder that soon lingered in the trees and stifled their breathing, while the ice itself pummeled their exposed skin.
Darkness now enveloped the mountain. Without words they staggered diagonally up the road until a knee or a shin clipped the far railing. Nóam reached out and gathered the other two by their arms, shouting at them through the glaze.
“It’s too far to the college from here to make it by foot, but there’s a light down there! Look! We need shelter now! Let’s go!”
Too tired and piqued to argue, they followed him over the railing, refusing both his extended hand and the idea of helping one another down the escarpment. Where the previous ascent to the road had been cumbersome, the descent toward the soft glow of light a few hundred yards beyond the road was negotiated deftly, and when the ground leveled beneath them, they found themselves within a short run to the source of the light: a tilted, fluorescent sign reading “OT” that stood before an entrance to the underlit lobby of an inconspicuous building.
Once inside, each fell into one of the several upholstered armchairs that lined the arched hallway leading to what appeared to be a small reception desk and began their self-examinations, feeling for bruised and broken skin and bones. Apart from the small laceration above Nóam's eye, the mutilated car had seemingly failed to mutilate its passengers.
As she opened her purse to scour blindly for her phone, Vibeka noted how the black, stacked stone veneer panels behind each of the chairs appeared to breathe. She rubbed her eyes before turning in her own chair to see a thin, vitreous stream of water flowing over the stones. Yet when she touched it, the water pushed upward past her fingertips. She traced its steady trajectory toward the top of the panel and then midway across the arched ceiling before it channeled into a small silver-plated slit within the stones. The water flowed this way on each panel.
Unwilling to attribute the anomaly to her own exhaustion, Vibeka turned again toward the panel behind her, looking this time at its base, around which was no aperture, like the one in the arched ceiling, but from which emanated an array of shallow grooves carved into the gray marble floor that continued to intersect in illogical patterns throughout the hallway and into the lobby. Sifted light from the tall shaded floor lamp beside her gave the grooves a glossy appearance, which she attributed to the remnant of water despite finding no source of its origin.